How to Eat More Veggies

To upgrade you vegetable intake all you need to do is choose a few of the well-known strategies, mentioned below. Many may seem all too obvious, but nevertheless, there might be something new in it for you.

Why more Veggies?

Eating more vegetables means you automatically upgrade your daily fuel. It improves your energy level and ability to perform throughout the day. It helps maintain a healthy body composition and improves your overall health and wellbeing. Eat enough vegetables throughout your life and you will be around longer to enjoy all these benefits. All this makes veggies king, when it comes to nutrition.

While nearly everybody knows that eating vegetables is healthy, not everybody knows how vegetables work their wonders. The micronutrients in vegetables are essential for generating energy and play a major role in keeping all your systems running in optimal form, not in the least your immune and nervous systems, including your brain. The fibers in vegetables feed the microbes in your gut and help regulate your energy intake. They make you feel full, get your digestive track going, and slow down the uptake of carbohydrates, which helps manage glucose in your blood stream. The fluids help you stay hydrated, and the fact that vegetables are low in calories makes them the ultimate ‘light food’. Last but not least, they provide a variety of color, scent and flavor to your diet, because they contain a large number of phytochemicals.

You Are Bound to Benefit

Vegetables are beneficial in almost all forms – fresh, cooked, frozen and juiced – so really, it shouldn’t be that hard to get in most of them. However, the vast majority of people eat too little of them. Less than 15% of the people in Europe, North America and Asia (outside of China) eat enough vegetables to comply with the general standard of eating at least 250 grams per day. Statistically, chances are high that you can also use some extra vegetables. Even when you eat enough of them according to the dietary guidelines, you are bound to benefit from eating more vegetables. For most people this is the most important piece of advice and the easiest way to eat healthier.

How to Eat more Veggies?

To eat more veggies, all you need to do is follow a few of the practical tips. Most of them seem all too obvious, but nevertheless, there might be something new in it for you.

Tip 1 – Think Vegetables First.

When you make your grocery list, when you enter the store, or plan dinner, think vegetables first. Instead of thinking, ‘we will have pasta tonight, oh, and a bit of spinach on the side’, think, ‘which vegetables are we going to eat tonight, and what would go well with them’?

Tip 2 – Put your Vegetables Where you Can See them.

Any shop owner can tell you that product placement is key, and there is no exception when it comes to your fridge. Hidden food will be ignored, so make sure to place vegetables, and fruit for that matter, at eyesight, or slightly lower, but never in the back or out of sight in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.

Tip 3 – Eliminate the Competition.

Whatever you are eating for lunch or dinner, make sure your plate is at least half full of vegetables. Raw or cooked does not matter, any kind is good. Simply upgrade your favorite meals by increasing the number of vegetables in them. If you make lasagna, try reducing the meat, or start by simply taking only half of what you are used to and adding zucchini or spinach instead. Skip beef in your burritos in favor of pinto beans. Whichever you choose, this strategy will leave less room for starchy, calorie-dense foods and help ensure that you fill up on nutrient-rich, low-calorie vegetables.

Tip 4 – Fill your Fridge with Veggies

Frozen vegetables are easy to use – especially for soup – and are just as nutritious as fresh ones. They are often picked at their peak and frozen right at the farm. Many vegetables like peas and spinach taste great from the freezer. Buy the ones without added sauces, gravies, butter or cream, and simply add them to your favorite dish.

Tip 5 – Drink your veggies

Smoothies are generally made with fruit and milk or water in a blender. Adding vegetables to your smoothies is a great way to increase their nutritional value, without compromising the flavor. Simply add a handful of spinach or kale to any fruit smoothie. Alternatively drink fresh pressed green vegetable juice. Either one can boost your energy, and get you off to a good start in the morning. If you have never had smoothies, just give it a try! Take two handfuls of greens, like spinach or kale, two pieces of fruit, like apples or berries (I recommend at least one banana) and add two cups of water.

N.B. If you only rely solely on fruits in your – large – smoothies, you will be drinking one big sugar bomb; vegetables, however, do not have that effect. So, if you are the thirsty type, start swapping fruits for veggies, and drink as much as you want!